May 2019 was a spectacular month for R&B / Soul releases and as usual, we’re back with our top picks.
Ari Lennox comes through smooth with Shea Butter Baby
Dreamvilles First Lady Ari Lennox dropped her debut full length album Shea Butter Baby on May 7 and it absolutely does not disappoint. After teasing several singles over the past 18 months, anticipation for the project was very high. On Shea Butter Baby, Lennox takes us on a complete journey over 12 tracks both conceptually and sonically. After recently revealing in an Beats 1 interview with Ebro, that she truly believed she would never make it as a Soul singer, we are more than happy she kept going and is here today delivering brilliant music for our very souls.
Shea Butter Baby, exemplifies everything which made us fall in love Ari Lennox and this album only solidifies her spot as a mordern Neo-Soul vanguard. Shea Butter Baby is lyrically and sonically grown. A bedroom banger, Lennox joins the ranks of the likes of Sza, raw and brazen in expressing her desires. The sound draws on funk and Soul, but is dazzlingly modern offering a 2019 refresh of the Neo-Soul of Badu and D’Angelo.
Ari also recently dropped visuals for Up Late featuring the eponymous Masego, enjoy above!
Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY!
A project that is brutally up-front an honest, Jamila Woods pulls no punches in her new album LEGACY! LEGACY!. Literally down to the capital lettering on not only the album title but many of the track names which are devoted to a black heroes. This, again illustrates the defiant, revolutionary spirit that has long stood Woods apart both musically and aesthetically.
LEGACY! LEGACY! takes the listener on an eclectic rollercoaster through a range of sounds yet has us simply wanting more. Woods’ sophomore album displays she has sharpened the blend of political commentary and personal reflection she introduced us to with debut album HEAVN. Paying homage to black creative activists who came before her, Woods delivers a forward thinking project that draws from influences as disparate as House, Hip Hop and Soul. It’s a stunner and gifted our track of the week earlier in the month, SUN RA.
This album truly has fantastic replay value and should definitely make it in any currently playlist you are bumping. She’s also released visuals for EARTHA that are not to be missed.
Alex Isley - The Beauty of Everything Pt. 2 - EP
Alex Isley returned this month with the follow up to her part 1 EP of the same title which dropped in February 2018. As expected, part 2 follows the melodic soulful theme that Alex Isley embodies impeccably well. Simply put, this EP is simply 23 minutes of contemporary R&B bliss of the finest degree and I for one am telling a friend to tell a friend about not only this EP but Alex Isley. Quite possibly one of the stand out tracks, Love on-Demand featuring SiR, you can check out below.
ROMderful - Press L to Continue
Birmingham bred producer / artist delivers a truly eclectic debut album, Press L to Continue. Press L to Continue packs a hefty punch throughout. A multi-talented musician, ROMderful has been doing his thing thoroughly over the past few years by way of producing for many artists as well as releasing several singles himself.
Sonically, the album truly takes you on an acoustic journey from beginning to end, with electronic soulful influences very reminiscent of early 2000s Timberland & Pharrell clear to hear. That said, ROMderful is an artist with clearly his own direction and this is evident throughout the project. With guest features from the likes of Shakka, Dounia, Mali Music & Emmavie to name a few, sprinkled all on the album, this is certainly an album you simply need to get listening to.
Below is the video to the intro track from the album titled Run Tings featuring Shakka & Dounia:
So there you have it, on the whole, May has been very solid month of music and below are some singles which also deserve a special shout out.
Baby Rose – Sold Out
Sault – Masterpiece
Collard – Warrior Cry
Knyves Escobar – New Eyes
Get into the vybes below: